Community engagement to strengthen social cohesion and child protection in Chad and Burundi: “Bottom Up” participatory monitoring, planning and action

Dr. Philip Cook, Michele Cook, Natasha Blanchet Cohen, Armel Oguniyi & Jean Sewanou International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD)

This is a report from the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) examining the two year (2014-2016) Child Protection Social Cohesion initiative in Burundi and Chad.  The purpose of the report is to consolidate baseline information on social cohesion, and identify relevant child protection stakeholders and drivers of conflict.  

This report discusses how child protection can contribute to social cohesion and peacebuilding through various means. Social cohesion and peacebuilding topics include: systems-based approaches that intentionally strengthen laws and policies; government structures and functions; care services, including reporting, referral and reintegration of vulnerable children; family support; and ongoing monitoring and evaluation with strong child and community involvement.

Initial data gathered describe a variety of child protection challenges in Burundi and Chad. As of the writing of this report, programs supported by UNICEF Chad involved a work in strengthening the formal system including training of staff in public institutions, such as the police, and legal authorities. The group found the type of relationship between child protection and social cohesion remains unclear at this stage of the research.